What Is Jute?

Jute fabric crumpled background

Here on the Karen’s Line website, we provide all-things evil eye using jute to make clutches, totes, and canvas bags. While you may recognize this material from its more traditional functions like the burlap sack, you may not know some of the amazing qualities of this versatile cloth!

What is Jute?

Next to cotton, jute takes the title of second most highly produced plant-based fibers. The jute plant can grow to be over 10 feet tall. The fibers derived from these plants can be harvested and weaved into a single long and strong string—making the jute fiber some of the longest natural textile fibers in the world. The longer the fiber, the stronger and more durable they are!

How is Jute Sustainable?

Not only is jute biodegradable and compostable thanks to its plant-based composition, it’s one of the few natural fibers that actually provides environmental benefits to the soil rather than damaging it. This process of growing and cultivation actually returns nutrients back to the ground and helps retain soil moisture! Often times you may notice jute plants being grown next to other agricultural crops like rice fields—this is because jute crops are symbiotic and rice crops are not. Growing these two agricultural products together diminishes the environmental impact of the rice cultivation process.

Another aspect to growing jute that makes it eco-friendlier than most other fiber productions is the amount of water and fertilizers needed for each crop—or rather, lack thereof! By nature, the jute plant is extremely fibrous, allowing it to grow at record speeds without the need for constant irrigation and help from fertilizers.

The speed of its growth also makes it a renewable material! Think about it; the faster a plant can reach maturity; the faster new crops can be planted—ultimately allowing farmers to produce mass quantities of the plant without the need of a larger plot of land. This means that there is no need to expand and encroach upon natural habitats and ecosystems with this agricultural effort in comparison to most fiber productions!

Here’s a list of other factors that make jute sustainable:

  • Jute plants absorb carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen at a much higher rate than trees.
  • Its woody structure makes jute a sustainable alternative to traditional trees! This means that with the proper research, jute cultivation could combat mass deforestation.
  • You can make paper out of jute!
  • Jute crops open up a huge market for jobs opportunities and enhanced food sources.
  • The material is most commonly used in reusable bag-type applications. This hits the brakes on the plastic bag industry. 

Why Jute?

Aside from their environmental implications, jute is an amazingly versatile fiber! So, it was a no-brainer when starting the Karen’s Line business that jute would be one of our most used materials.

First and foremost, jute is extremely strong, temperature resistant, and absorbent. While jute absorbs water readily, it also has the ability to dry quickly as well. This makes them the perfect material for industrial applications, but thanks to recent advancements in their processing, it’s now possible to use this traditionally rough textile for garments and apparel.

And if that’s not enough, we love using this fabric for their style! Jute is a traditionally coarse fiber, but again, recent processing techniques has made this fabric softer and more pliable over time. Having said that, the rustic flair of the material remains in every bag we have on our website! Including one of our jute bags adds a Bohemian splash to any outfit!

So, take a look around our website and grab your next natural jute bag!